Thursday, June 30, 2011

INSPIRATION

It is a verb with these definitions (when used with an object in grammar):
*to fill with an animating, quickening or exalting influence.
*to produce or arouse a thought, feeling, etc.
*to fill or affect with a specified thought or feeling.

When used without an object it means to inhale.

It's origin is Latin combining (in), which means in (duh), and (spirare), which means to breathe. Spirare is where our English word Spirit originates. The suffix tion simply means the condition or state of being. Therefore, it is no wonder that inspiration is an inside-out experience ... HolySpirit filling, producing or affecting our spirits; inhaling into us.

The arts have always inspired me, whether it's in the form of music, dance, theater, writing or a vision captured on canvas. I've come to realize that art, in all its forms, so inspires me for the very reasons that creation, in all its forms, does too. Everything about them--art and creation--started with a breath of life. God spoke and HolySpirit breathed life in the form of earth and man.

And art is just an extension of that original creation process: HolySpirit breaths inspiration into a human heart and the heart expresses that very breath in an outward manifestation, giving us life in the form of art.

From the time I was very young, the love of dance captured a piece of my heart and has stayed there, firmly rooted. My parents helped shaped that love through dance lessons when I was a young girl. I took tap, ballet and even Polynesian lessons, progressing to a year on pointe, until it became obvious that my build was never going to be lithe and fragile--a few qualities required off those on pointe. To this day, I still have the one pair of toe shoes I danced in for that year. A momento of my love of ballet, even though my future as a Principle Dancer in the American Ballet Theater was not in God's plan for me. ;)

So in the 7th grade I left the dance studio behind and ventured into sports, where I excelled quite naturally at volleyball, softball and soccer. But my love of dance never wained, it just nestled more comfortably into my heart; and ever since 7th grade, I've lived vicariously through every show, every recital, every performance I've laid my eyes on.

My greatest moment yet as a spectator? Getting to see the New York City Ballet perform at the Lincoln Center with my Bestie ... a memory seared into that corner of my heart that dance holds. <3

And now, as song and dance have become appreciated again, our TV's are being brought back to life through art in human form. My favorite? So You Think You Can Dance!!! Every week I am moved to tears through, at least, one performance; and over the past couple years, one dancer seems to captivate me from the get-go. So in this season of SYTYCD, I decided to capture "those moments that needed no words to speak to my spirit" and leave them here on my blog, so I could revisit them any time I wanted to.

In this 8th season of SYTYCD, Melanie Moore is [the] dancer that reached right out of the television within 3 seconds of her audition and made me begin cheering for her dances-to-come before she was even chosen for the Top 20.

The minute this short preview of her enormous talent ended, I was grabbing my phone and rewinding the DVR in order to record her audition to video. Here is her original audition: (the quality isn't the best since I was recording from the television to my phone camera, but it's the only way I could get a copy)

video

I have watched this clip so many times. Inspiration exhaled through movement. Watching her destiny unfold is breathtaking. And watching the joy in her mom's expression is priceless. Can you just imagine a look similar to that on our Father God's [face] as He watched her, too? She is living out loud the life breathed into her.

I determined, after watching this, that I was going to find a way to keep what inspires and moves me here. In the same way that I cherish the memories and lessons taught that I get to look to back on, I want to remember the moments where HolySpirit breathed life into my spirit.

More to come as inspiration becomes a permanent fixture on my blog.

"what a difference" follow-up

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last blogged! It really bothers me when I let so much time pass without writing, whether out of laziness or busy-ness ... the reason is insignificant once the time has passed.

Seeing that my last post was centered around a weekend that changed the current course of lives in our home, my first priority is to jot down a few thoughts as I look at it a month removed from the emotion of the circumstances.

High School Baseball has been a subject that's loomed over our house for the past year. To public school or not ... all for the sake of baseball. Honestly, the decision for Alec to attend Birdville seems like it's already been made, but I've learned my lesson not to get ahead of God, even when plans look like they have been laid. I know a door was definitely opened with Alec making the high school summer ball team, but I told God--as if that really counts, right?--that the team was a stepping stone only; the decision still sits before Him through July. August is the month that counts, and it's still a month away. So, for now, we enjoy the coaching he's had, the growth he's made, and the introduction to high school ball; and we enjoy the rest of our summer. August is, after all, still a month away.

It's also been a month since the dynamic of our family changed--for the summer, anyway--the rest is yet to be determined. God has been consistently speaking one story to my heart every time I get together with Him on this subject. He reminds me of the Prodigal Son; not for the purpose of praying a heart back to God, but for showing me that even He--the God who created [us] in HIS image--understands the truth of love and hearts:

Love cannot be forced, it must be chosen;
And a heart is not yours simply because it lives with you or shares your name or even has history attached to you ... [or, as GOD knows, is created in HIS image]; a heart is won through pursuit and wooing.

God is the greatest example of pursuit and wooing, yet I believe we tend to live our lives as if they are somehow separated from the way God operates. He is [the] pursuer, [the] wooer. Why then should we think that the love and hearts that are entrusted to us should be treated any differently than the way God examples to us?

Sometimes space is the only thing that brings perspective when a heart believes it's being caged against its will; and sometimes breathing room is needed when a heart feels like it's being suffocated; and sometimes we just need to understand that "nothing ever really stays the same". Life is not stagnant, it is forever moving and changing; and when years pass and hearts grow up, keeping that heart sometimes means loosening up the physical hold in order to keep the heart beating for and with you.

This is not a story of giving in to demands or allowing manipulation to reign, instead it's a realization that choices made then can--and often do--change what we envisioned for our now. Our 'hoped-for-nows' are never guaranteed to us; in fact, they rarely turn out as we envisioned them in the first place. Even if our now is close to how we imagined it, it's always tweaked a bit by God--sometimes less than, sometimes more than--we expected or hoped for.

So, for now, we take our steps not in fear or trepidation, but with confidence knowing that God really does desire {HIS} best for us, but that "best" is not always what we think it should be nor does it play out how we think it should. After all, it's {HIS} best, not [our] best.

In both situations, I'm not looking at the end of summer right now. I'm looking at today only and praying for tomorrow. I've learned that when an unexpected weekend can change so much, anchoring my thoughts even 30 days away is my definition of worry, and worry is not a spirit I'm even remotely interested in allowing to reign in my life. When God's mercies are new every morning, I've learned so can His plans be, too.