Monday, August 18, 2008

Ahh....I a SO out of the habit of writing, so I'm just going to write SOMETHING to help the juices to start flowing again....

I learned so much on my trip it's nuts, but if I write it all out one more time, I may lose my mind, so I'm not going to do that. It was amazing, and blessed and relaxing and just plain cool...and we'll leave it at that.

One thing I do want to explore spend some time on is the importance of Strength and Grace. That is one of the motos of the Royal Ballet company and God really impressed that on me while i was there. Those to two weeks were so hard and so grueling physically and emotionally. It really forced me to rely on the Lord for all my strength (including simply getting up in the morning).There were many days where my alarm would go off and I'd lay there telling myself; "No...I can't do it....I can't drag myself through 6 hours of dance today." But then I'd be reminded of a wonderful verse in Isaiah 52 that says "Awake, awake! Put on your strength o Zion, put on your beautiful garments o Jerusalem..." This passage was really talking about the restoration of Israel and how they no longer had to deal with ungodly nations invading their land. It's a little out of context, but it really helped.

"He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:29

"And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

In addition to strength, He taught me about grace. It's important to be able to resist attack and be durable. It's important to be a vessel for His power...however, we're not meant to be bulls in China shops either. It's a competitive world out there and you have to be thick skinned, or else you'll give up. If the girls aren't awful (which they weren't...they were awesome actually), then the teachers are playing favorites and the so are the directors. You have to learn to just roll with the punches and always present yourself to the best of your ability. You have to be competitive. But you don't need to run people over to get to the front line and you don't have to put glass in some one's pointe's just not right. A wise director I work for always says "God is our promoter". And that's exactly right. We had to put ourselves out to be seen, but God makes those opportunities...we simply have to take advantage of them. You have to be gracious about it. Strength and Grace. An unlikely, but dynamic pair.

In looking up the word grace I found some synonyms that really explained to me what it meant to be gracious. They were words like, pleasant, precious, well favored, helpful, and merciful.

"A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches. The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh." Proverbs 11:16-17

"Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard." Proverbs 13:15

"The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious,But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up" Ecclesiastes 10:12

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