Five Minute Friday-Small

imageIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is small.

I often feel small when I think about all of the things that need to be done.  Feeling small when you have a long to-do list gives you the feeling of being overwhelmed and incapable of accomplishing anything.

Feeling small in your clothes makes you feel invincible!

When I was a little girl, I often felt like I could do anything! I had plans to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, dancer, and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader all at the same time.

Somewhere along the way, the small girl who felt big became a woman who often feels so very small.

Do you ever feel small?

During class last night, someone captured an image of one of my smallest class participants.  Although she is small, she hangs right in there with the best of them.

Katina and Edith

Not only can she hang with the big girls, she even challenged her teacher (me), last night!  

Edith and Katina b

As life gets bigger and more complicated, it is easy to lose sight of the small but courageous girl who lives inside of each of us.

What does the small girl in your heart dream of doing?

Where do you need to challenge the status quo?

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Five Minute Friday-Story

 

imageIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is story.

Every one of us has a story.  Our stories, our lives….have texture.  There are smooth parts, rough patches, dark places and glimmers of light all throughout.  One of the things that is so special about our class is that it is filled with women of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages.  So many stories woven together by simple things like salsa, side steps, single-single double rhythmic movements and partner booty shakes.

Sometimes a picture tells a story.  It made my soul smile when I was teaching class yesterday and watched one of our class participants and her daughter dance-challenging each other. Time stood still for just a few seconds.

Stories, good or bad, can make us forget about everything else that is going on.

Becky and Edith

The important thing to remember is we are all smack dab in the middle of a story God is still writing.

Throw your head back and keep dancing divas… God is not finished pinning the novel of our lives.

Five Minute Friday-Belong

imageIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is belong.

Have you ever gone somewhere and immediately knew you were right were you belonged?  Or perhaps you can remember a time when you ended up somewhere you had NO BUSINESS being.  Belong is a feeling you get, down deep.

One of the things people compliment our class about is how friendly every one is and how welcomed they feel when they come to class.  Although we work out HARD, the Dance Fit Divas are about so much more than just working out.

When I started teaching our class, my intention was to teach an eight week ZUMBA session.  Three years later, I look back and can only say…MY GOD.

God’s plan was so much bigger than an eight week ZUMBA session.  God’s plan included adding Devoted Fitness (a Christian fitness program), bible study, and traveling the high seas.  Most of all, God’s plan was the creation of a place where women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors could  grow closer to HIM, shake their tail-feathers, and belong.

DFD-Belong

How can you help others grow closer to God so they can feel like they belong?

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1

Five Minute Friday-In Between

imageIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is actually two words:  in between.

Most of the time, I feel like I am in a whirlwind of “to-dos”…..somewhere in between working, mommying, dancing with you divas, laundry, and dust bunnies who haunt me.  I trick myself into doing just “one more thing” in search of the illusion of getting everything done and riding the happy train of peace, unicorns and rainbows.

I can’t say the happy train (minus the unicorns),  has never come to my station but when it does come, it doesn’t stay long.  I seem to live in between train stops. 

Last week, I started using the Crossfade feature on my Ipod that allows for music to be played without breaks in between the music during class.  Crossfade sort of creates a DJ like feeling because the end of one song is mixed into the beginning of another song.  After about three songs, you begin to long for the good ol’ days of a short pause before each song. In between suddenly takes on a new meaning:)

Do you ever feel in between?

The fact of the matter is….we are all in between.   At some point in our lives we are:  in between singleness, marriage, children, jobs, fitness goals, being caregivers, housework, illnesses, good times, sad times. 

I read a quote by Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter that really described my in between feelings:  “Everything can look like a failure in the middle”.

The good news is looking like a failure and really being one are two totally different things. 

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

 

Five Minute Friday-Rhythm

image It’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is Rhythm.

Almost every time I tell someone I teach dance fitness, they immediately tell me that they could never come to one of my classes because they do not have RHYTHM. I usually respond to them by asking a simple question: “Do you know how to count to eight?”. (I have only had one person tell me they could not count to eight and she was joking.)

Since most people say yes they can count to eight, I then announce that they can most certainly take my class because RHYTHM is not required!

image

“If you are worried about looking out of step with everyone else, simply start counting to eight when we start a new move. When you get to eight, be prepared to continue the same move or do something new!”

I can’t take credit for the whole, “count to eight” concept. My dear friend and neighbor, Jackie, actually turned me on to the concept. One day we were just talking about how much she enjoyed class and she told me she cannot dance and has no RHYTHM. I didn’t know what she was talking about because she always keeps up in class.

Then she let me in on her secret: “I am an accountant, I figured out a pattern, I just count to eight”. LOVE IT!

Counting to eight was Jackie’s way of getting into the RHYTHM of a song.

God created us with RHYTHM. Our hearts pump to a beat. We breathe in and then out in a pattern. We wake and then we sleep. Even our sleep has a RHYTHMic cycle. There is a RHYTHM to the change of seasons and a process of nature around us.

Unfortunately, our world screams so loudly it is sometimes hard to hear the beat…feel the RHYTHM. It is kind-of like tech music (which I detest)…the beat is there but it is hard to discern behind all of the noise.

As the week draws to an end, perhaps we should all “count to eight” by resting so we can feel God’s RHYTHM.

It is there, we just have to get in sync.

Listen-Five Minute Friday

Five Minute FridayIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts.  Today’s word is Listen.

At the beginning of every class, I go over the “rules of the road”: drink plenty of water, don’t worry about looking like anyone else and most of all “LISTEN to your body”.  After telling everyone to LISTEN to their body, I usually ask the following question to the rainbow of women staring back at me: “If I do something and it hurts YOU, what do you do?”.  In what sounds like trance-like voices, the ladies in class respond…”Don’t Do It”.

LISTENing to your body and not doing things that hurt are wise actions when participating in ANY physical fitness program.  However, they are even more important in a dance program like ours where there several movements that may need to be modified for ladies with back, hip or knee problems. 

What about life in general?  Can we apply the simple yet challenging principles of “LISTEN to your body” and “if-it-hurts-don’t-do-it” to our day to day lives?

Sometimes.

But when we find ourselves at ground zero and we have to walk through a battle zone of illness, a crazy schedule, caring for a loved one, loneliness, un-nerving co-workers, children acting a fool……we need to get quiet and LISTEN to God. 

Getting quiet so that we can activate our senses to hear God and see His handiwork in our situation is easier said than done.   LISTENing to God requires a great deal of intentionality. 

Being intentional to LISTEN is difficult for me because my schedule screams at me like a ambulance siren.  This weekend, I cleared my schedule and I am determined to just BE! (Y’all pray for me)

How can you begin to become more intentional so that you truly LISTEN?

Isaiah 55:3-5

“Come to me with your ears wide open.  Listen, and you will find life.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.”

 

 

Five Minute Friday-Imagine

Five Minute FridayIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. If you have NEVER read our FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts.  Today’s word is Imagine.

One hundred and twenty hips moving side to side, up and down.  Skin of all shades glistening from all the sweaty fun-ness.  Who would have ever IMAGINEd dancing with soul sisters could be so therapeutic?  More than therapeutic…just down right amazing.  Something you miss dearly when life happens and you can’t make it.

Funny how you can just lose yourself gyrating to a great beat.  Yep, when you are in the moment of squatting or doing our back-to-back-partner-booty-shake, the things in life that are not going as you IMAGINEd-stop whispering mean things in your ear.

With laundry, soccer, game days, work, care giving, meal preparation, errands (the day-to-day stuff); there is no time for IMAGINing only doing.

Our class is an outlet, a safe place to throw your head back, laugh, roll your hips and be IN THE MOMENT.  Last night we cooled down to an oldie but goodie…Kirk Franklin’s I Smile.

“Even though  it hurts, I smile…. Even though I been here for a while, I smile…. I know God is working so I smile….”

When the song was over, we bowed with prayer hands.  We were quiet without all the craziness of life long enough to remember God IS working.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

Where is your safe place that allows you to let your hair down and just be?

 

Five Minute Friday-View

Five Minute FridayIt’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays! FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”! Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts! If you have NEVER read the FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts. Today’s word is VIEW.

One of the main reasons ladies start coming  to our classes is to lose weight. Perhaps there was a doctor’s appointment that gave a scare or the VIEWing of “a certain photo”  that motivated lifestyle change.  Once ladies become regular attenders they don’t continue to come for weight loss, they come for the sisterhood.  There is something magical about shaking and sweating with other awesome women–just sayin’!

Dance

Regardless of the reason for beginning or continuing any fitness program, one universal way we gauge our success is by getting on the…. scale (key the horror music).

Yep, stepping on a small box and getting a number can make your day or ruin your day.  Your entire point of VIEW can be changed by the scale….if you allow it. 

I have felt great and didn’t have to squeeze into my clothes on a particular day and then hopped on the scale only to be told I had gained weight.  Instantly the  “not good enough” thoughts began to swirl around in my brain.

Really?  Is my greatness or your greatness tied to what we weigh?  We are loving mommies,  fabulous spouses, great employees, dynamic entrepreneurs, caring and supportive friends — but all this truth falls out of our VIEW when the scale does not display what we would like.

Although the scale can give us some measurable information, it cannot:  admire your smile, thank you for the kind gestures you show others daily, or give you props for how you keep on keepin’ on in spite of it all.

Say it with me….I am beautiful and a force to be reckoned with!  <Tweet this>  

If you are close to the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area, join us for Bible Study and Soulful Saturday!

Happy Memorial Day!

Five Minute Friday-BRAVE

It’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday,  Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. Today’s word is BRAVE.

The word BRAVE conjures up quite a few feelings when I think about it. One of the first thought pictures that I get in my mind when I hear the word BRAVE is of our troops. Lisa Jo Baker described BRAVE as a whisper some days and a battle cry on others. So true.

As an adjective, BRAVE is defined as: courageous – gallant – valiant – bold. As a verb, BRAVE it is defined as: defy – dare – challenge – face. The last few weeks have taught me BRAVE also means asking for help. BRAVE means going to bed when my body is tired instead of valiantly trying to get it all done. BRAVE is seeking truth as negative thoughts swirl around in my mind. But most of all, love is BRAVE.

With every class I teach, I get the awesome opportunity to watch women dance in spite of all that is going on in their lives. But more than that, I see women saying hello to each other. I see women giving much-needed hugs. I see women challenging other ladies in the class to work harder. In the back corner, I see a lady who is going to have major surgery on May 7, 2013  jamming it out with a big smile on her face.

Last night, our back-to-back partner booty shake had BRAVE written all over it!(LOL)

Dear God,
Thank you so much for the very air I breathe. Please continue to remind me that I am my BRAVEst when I surrender my plans and my will to you.
Amen

Five Minute Friday-Friend

Five Minute Friday It’s Friday y’all! Whoo hoo! Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays (FMF). She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. I am so thankful that I found Five Minute Fridays! FMF gives me an opportunity to just “freestyle”! Many of you have told me that you really enjoy reading the FMF posts! If you have NEVER read the FMF posts, I urge you to read past posts: HERE Today’s word is FRIEND.

One of the most amazing and totally God things about our class is the sense of connection and love. There is no denying it, you feel it when you walk in the gym and see a beautiful array of women laughing, talking, and as was the case yesterday….dancing BEFORE class even started!!!

At first glance, it is tempting to say our class is made up of ladies who are FRIENDs.  Upon further investigation, it becomes evident that our bond is more than FRIENDship. I came across a word on Dr. Anna Garrett’s blog called Moai…….EUREKA this is the Divas.

Dr. Garrett described Moai and its benefits this way: “In Okinawa, people form social cooperatives called moai . These informal groups offer emotional, social or even financial assistance to one another. While moai are often practical in their collaborative purposes, they also provide a way for men and women to share stress during difficult times and to serve as an extended family. Being happy and strongly supported in community can extend your life up to 10 years.  ”

  

Yes, many of us have become FRIENDs as we salsa, kick, cha-cha and punch together each week.  More than FRIENDS, we are a community of women, always open and receptive to new divas…we are a moai.  Do you have a moai?

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

If you are in the Kernersville NC area, join us for our Soulful Saturday class and bible study on Saturday April 27, 2013!!