Running through the sprinkler
We stand in a circle and we laugh and share our stories and when someone mentions we should start a Zumba class, right in the basement of our church, she lowers her eyes and shifts her feet and she says she can’t dance.

I want to know who told her that.  I want to tell her everyone can dance.

We all start out with dancing in our souls. Toddlers bouncing, with feet planted and toes curled up in blades of grass as dragonflies sail past. They clap their hands and grin wide smiles and everyone who sees them beams with joy.

In kindergarten, little girls in purple sneakers and ankle socks with rainbow stripes spin round and round with arms stretched wide – heads thrown back beneath the summer sky. Older children, throwing caution to the wind, jump pirouettes through water droplets flung from sprinklers in the summer sun.

But then, somewhere along the way, a bold untruth gets dropped into our heads. All too often we take that lie and wrap it up and hold it in our hearts and we believe the whispers. We let it twist itself around our hands and feet like shackles and we say that we are bound and we can’t dance.

But we forget that we hold tiny ones whose breath still smells like sugar and we rock them back and forth while crickets chirp a rhythmic beat outside the nursery window. We forget the way our shoulders rise and fall in steady cadence as we chop the onion for the salad, or the movement of our hips as we pull weeds out of the garden.

We forget that when we wash the dishes in the sink our head tips to one side as we turn a plate or bowl or glass in circles beneath the flow of water that cascades down the drain. We don’t think about the way we zoom the lens and snap the photo and lower the camera to gaze at the display. Somehow we don’t think about the tap tap tapping of computer keys beneath our fingertips when the day is coming to a close and the house has fallen silent, except for birds out in the treetops.

We stand in a circle and we laugh and share our stories, and I want to reach out to the woman who thinks that she can’t dance. I want to tell her when she shifts her purse from one shoulder to the other, she lights up the space around her. I want to tell her I don’t think God cares if she can keep a beat or not. I want to say her life is one big dance and when she moves her body through the world, He’s watching and it makes Him smile and not a single step is lost on Him.

“Let them praise His name in the dance…” Psalm 149:3, The Message

By Deidra

  • Kendra Tillman

    Amen. It’s so unfortunate how many times other people push their fears and insecurities on us and we start to believe them, as if they were our own. Thanks for the beautiful reminder that we all CAN dance.

  • chelsea koanui

    WOW. thank you for that…i def needed that one…

  • Amy Hunt

    Oh, sweet Deidra…this is so lovely! I’ll share with you the *freedom* I’ve experienced to dance and it’s been life changing in every way. Just as you described, I was shackled by the noise that I wasn’t good enough, that I couldn’t dance. And now, just about every night I dance–spinning silly circles around my Boy-Man and my Man-Boy, I dance with freedom–and now my Boy-Man asks to join his Mama. He feels it, too…the joy to just live in freedom.

    I love the way you describe life as dancing and how not a single step is lost on Him. I’m holding on to that today and grateful for your picture.

    Rich blessings, sweet lady friend, for you inspire others to receive grace…

  • Jadyn

    I love how you described different ways in which our lives has a rhythm and how we move to it. Thanks for this.

  • Rene

    I love how you describe the rhythm of our lives as a a dance. I was raised in a church were dancing was considered a sin. This way of looking is so freeing! Thank you!

  • Nancy

    We should ask each other that question more often: “Who told you you can’t _______?” In my case, I grew up in a church which considered dancing sinful. Learning to dance again, and finding the joy.

  • Sharon

    Thank you for sharing this FREEDOM..needed to see this today. Blessings on you!

  • Southern Gal

    Oh, I love this, Deidra. Life is definitely a dance. I’m only recently trying to shed the heavy lies that were spoken over me when I was younger. I’m just sorry I let them drag me down for all these years…

  • Heather Gemmen Wilson

    I love this post—the writing and the message. I’m one of those people who has no business doing zumba. It’s really quite funny to see me try to move in beat. haha! I’m a free spirit, though, and not afraid to try things! And my absolute lack of body coordination makes everyone feel quite competent. :) Anyway, I’m glad for the reminder that I’m often dancing in the ways you describe.

  • Jill

    I’m learning to dance too
    also to:
    wear the colors I have always longed to wear
    grow a braid
    sing really loud
    and to laugh and enjoy
    God is healing me and I am thankful!
    I know now, that it gives Him joy to see us do these things.

    Thanks for this post

  • Victoria

    Thank you Deidra! As a stay at home mom of three young children I really needed to hear that today.

  • HisFireFly

    Yes to the silencing of lies.
    Yes to living in His truth.
    All to bring Him honour and joy.
    All to bring Him glory.

    Thank you!

  • Deidra

    Hello Lovely Ladies!

    What fun to click over here and see your words dancing across the screen! You make me smile! Every single one of you! With music in your smiles and rhythm in the way you open up yourself to this brand new day!

    Yes! You CAN dance! You DO dance! And you are good at it. Real. Good!

    I’m joining in the dance with each of you today!

  • Alexandra

    What a beautiful post Deidra. Thanks for the encouragement to keep dancing… to relish the joy, the movement, the freedom.

  • Jamie @ Six Bricks High

    Oh Deidra, I love this — “not a single step is lost on Him” Sometimes I buy the lie and I pay a high price for it. I listen to the words that say that He isn’t interested in all my steps, just the ones that are performed beautifully. Thanks for the encouragement today!

  • Emily

    Love this freedom we have in Christ and the *shush* of Satan that tells us ‘no’ and ‘can’t’ when God only speaks ‘YES!’ and ‘CAN!’ to us in Him. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News……and in whatever else those feet are doing!

  • Melynda

    Thank you for this timely word! I love dancing – and Jesus makes a great dance partner! The devil is the one who can’t dance – he’s too busy being mean!

    So dance and twirl and listen to the music of your soul today.

  • Becky

    AWESOME! What encouraging words that we all need to hear! THNX 4the beautiful post! Reminds of the song: “IAM FREE to Run IAM FREE to DANCE” it’s just awesome! Thnx again Deidra!

  • Beth Williams

    AMEN Deidra! Dance is all about movement of any kind – it doesn’t have to be to a particular beat – Just get out there and twirl, spin and rock yourself!

    God, afterall, is the inventor of dance & humans – so I say move to any beat!!!

  • all shall be well

    I am going to think about how we dance through life every day like this from now on, I love that. :)

    Thank you Deidra……….

  • Nina

    “Everyone can dance” I love that reminder! I love dancing with my little girls so much…that open, unashamed joy is how all of life should be lived…

  • Holley Gerth

    Deidra, I’ve always said I can’t dance and you’ve just set me free, my friend! I’ll be twirling in the kitchen tonight!

  • Kristen Strong

    I echo Holley’s words! And you’re right, I *can* dance, by golly! :)

    So, ya gonna teach me some moves at Relevant? ;)

    Love you so much!

  • Lindsey van Niekerk

    Oh, yes!

    I love this! As a woman who just went through a season where I almost lost my “dance,” this post resounds soundly in my being!

  • Fiona

    I love how your words speak encouragement and bring life to the soul. Thank you. xx

  • Jami Kastner

    <3! <3! <3 this post! <3 it!

  • Linda

    Absolutely beautiful Deidra. I has never thought of dancing in just that way. I do love to dance!

  • Katie @ Imperfect People

    What a sweet post! I love to dance. I will play you at just dance on the wii anyday LOL. But really you did a great job with the parallel. THANK YOU!

  • Deidra

    Beautiful, beautiful women! Each one!

    I’ve peeked in here on and off throughout the day, and your comments are like music. Tonight I’m praying for us all – as the lightning bugs twinkle and we sing lullabies to young ones or turn off the lights in the kitchen or turn off the sprinkler in the yard or fill the water dish for the dog or sit on the couch and hold hands with someone we love – I’m praying that we hear the music, and that we don’t miss the dance.

    Blessings! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

  • Michelle Derusha

    Beautiful message, Deidra. And a timely one: today when I got home from work I found Brad and the boys having a “dance party” with tunes blaring in the sun room. Big smiles all around. I joined right in of course!

  • Sheila Lagrand

    I CAN dance! What a joy to rediscover that!

    Thank you, Deidra!

  • kimberly

    Oh, that was lovely! (and i started zumba at home this week. *giggle*)

  • Deborah

    I loved this. It spoke to my heart. Of course we can all dance. Even if I’m off in the rhythm, if I happen to miss a beat – I can dance, and it’s meaningful to my Creator – because I dance for Him.

  • Deborah

    Yes, yes. Let’s dance!

  • Michele@From the Unpaved Road

    So totally beautifully God’s heart. When I was little all I wanted to do was dance. My mum took me from studio to studio and they told her to be reasonable, was she not aware her daughter had one leg? To let me do something I could excel at. But when no one was looking I’d make dances up to Jesus until I grew up and the dance became an ache deep deep down pounding in my heart.

    Then one day after long settling I must have been given a metaphorical dance instead, God gave me a dance. A real dance. One dance to one song. On my one leg. For Him alone and I spent the better part of a decade traveling the world to spin in faith a simple routine that would have been raw foolishness if not for His kiss on it all. But He kissed it every time with His smile.

    And this little girl told she could never dance with not more than 5 hours any kind of training, has spun on national stages before kings. Never ever let the words of men steal the promise of God. And now I dance all day long with my treasures in Sudan. So beautifully put Deidra- we ALL have a dance! Thank you!

  • Jennifer@GDWJ

    I see you’re getting your praise on over here. :)