Dance and Your Home Life

balancing home and ministry
Me with the four great men God has given me.

Last night a fellow dancer asked a group of dance ministers in training, “For those of you who are married, how does your dance ministry affect your relationship with your spouse?”

I felt that burning in my heart that says, “This is your question to answer. Speak to it,” and it’s not because I have the balance between home life and dance ministry down. On the contrary. This is something God is dealing with me now.

Maybe he wanted me to speak up to help me keep honest with myself by being honest with others. And maybe He wanted me to speak up because it might be helpful to others who feel the tension between their sense of calling to dance ministry and meeting their responsibilities at home for me to share both where I have failed and what He seems to be saying to me.

First, let me say that my husband is supportive of my love for dance and my calling to dance in worship. When he served as a pastor, he made space for me to dance in our congregation, even though our congregation was pretty unfamiliar with dance, and it stretched the comfort zone of many to have dance in church. My husband loves to watch me dance. He is moved by the beauty of worship dance and appreciates the way the Lord works through it. He is no naysayer. He errs on the side of trusting my judgement when I feel called to a ministry task – be it teaching a class, taking a class, offering an online course, keeping up my blog. He is reluctant to say, “I don’t think you should do that. You need to give more to us at home,” because he doesn’t want to clip my wings.worship dance family

As a result, I make most of my decisions on my own, without his input.  In that freedom,  I have given to dance and to my online ministry time that my family is needing. When it’s just up to me, I overcommit with dance ministry.

I find it very easy to say, “Not now, honey,” to my boys when they interrupt my practice, my blogging, my Facebook updates. I’m a homeschooling mom, but have put 90% of my passion into dance ministry and only 10% into being creative in teaching and discipling my three sons, and it shows.

Our experience of school the last year has been so lack luster that everyone, including me, seriously considered abandoning home schooling this fall. However, when I prayed about it, the Lord did not give me peace about that. He did not release me to put my kids in school. So, I found  myself in the difficult position of having to convince my husband that I do feel called to homeschool and that he can trust me to put my heart into it the way I put my heart into dance.

When it came down to it, I realized, as much as I love to dance and to lead and equip others to dance in worship, when I sit in my rocking chair and look back over my life, what I want most is to see my children walking with Jesus, loving each other, loving and honoring their dad and I, and raising up the next generation of Jesus followers. Being a wife and mother is my primary calling.

So, I told my husband that I wanted him to help me decide what to do and not do in terms of dance ministry this year and that I was willing to lay any or all of  it down, if needed. Tonight we are going out to coffee to look over the many activities I’m involved in and decide which ones need to go. I’m praying to lay down my will about the matter. If all I’m left with is the freedom to dance alone in private worship, I will do that, joyfully.

I’m not worried that God will take something good away from me. That’s not the way He works. When He takes away, He does it for our good. I’m looking forward to having more integrity in my family, greater unity with my husband, and harmony at home.

I know, because someone asked the original question, that I am not alone in wrestling to find how my calling to dance fits with my family. Some of you may wrestle with this as well.

home life and ministryIn Titus 2:4, older women are encouraged to teach younger women to “love their husbands and children.” I think he points that out because he knows how much easier it is to love and make time for those outside our home. Often the reward we get for outside ministry is more immediately tangible than the reward we get from serving those closest to us. But in the long run, our deepest impact is at home, and the impact we make in the world is authenticated by our faithfulness at home.

Maybe your husband and kids completely affirm your call and serve alongside you. You are an inspiration to me, and I praise God when I see you. I want to learn from you.

Maybe your husband doesn’t affirm your call. You are in a tough position. Before assuming this means you have to lay it down, I encourage you to have an honest conversation with him about why? Does He feel neglected? Left out? Does He not understand dance ministry? Talk about it, lay it before the Lord in prayer. It may be in the conversation and the prayer that you come to agreement about your calling.

Your answer won’t look just like mine because you aren’t me and your aren’t married to my husband.

I’d love to hear from you though. Please respond in the comments section. Does the question strike a chord with you? What does it look like in your life to be faithful in your ministry at home and faithful in ministry outside the home? 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Dance and Your Home Life”

  1. Amy,

    I had a dream that you were going to have a discussion on this topic!!!!
    You know I was on that call last night too and my answer to what was the greatest obstacle to accepting my call to dance or ministry in general as my calling involves other branches beside dance as ministry. My biggest obstacle was my responsibilities at home. I have two sons with autism and they still need a lot from me on a day to day basis. When God first called me I just did not know how I could be consistent with the call to minister outside the home. As a result I have to carefully pick and chose my ministry assignments. I asked God long time ago not to let my ministry out-grow where I was in my family and home life. My family is gracious in their love towards me and when I am less than perfect they still keep on loving me and waiting on me because nobody can replace what God has placed in me expressly for them. In the last couple of years I have spent more time in training and developing my ministry skills but I recognized this was a gift from GOD and the right timing for doing so. It was never going to be easy; I do not even look for that just for GOD to make a way. I think it is excellent that you have now opened up your heart and are willing to submit on a deeper level to what GOD is calling you to be as a wife and mother and that you and your husband are placing your ministry of dance before GOD and asking to be divinely guided together! When I was called into ministry GOD told me that I would now have to respect my husband even more than I had in the past. The little things that I used to would argue with him on I stopped doing that. In essence I began to walk in greater humility. Our lives must preach and teach the message of the gospel then our outside ministry projects is only an extension of that which we are living. On another note Amy, let’s all discuss how we have come home to a house that needs a house-keeper while we are off giving the best of our focus and creative efforts to outside ministry projects (LOL)!

    1. Jennifer, I love how you said that God has gifted you with this year to grow in skill and leadership and how your family has had grace for you in that. Your friendship and wisdom is a gift to me. I love that he showed you that I was going to discuss this. I always, say “I think the Lord wanted me to this,” because I’m not always sure I’m hearing right. So, that is an encouraging confirmation.

  2. Hi Amy,
    Thank you for the compliment of my family! I am thankful for God for the work He had to do inside of me and on us all.

    A little over two years ago I was a complete mess! I felt like everything was out of order in every aspect of my life. I was way over committed at a small church I attended. I was Sunday school teacher, praise and worship leader, women’s ministry leader, and dance leader! My son was having problems emotionally at school. I was always getting calls about something. I was a den leader for my son’s cub scout pack and he was in taking teakwondo everyday. I was newly elected President of a dance company. Not to mention work and running a stressful business. And I can forget about the prayer ministry that l co founded that year also. I get tired thinking about that stressful moment in my life. There was no time for anything else. Finances were out of control, my marriage was suffering and my son I thought was acting out! Of course the house was always in awry!

    After one night of arguing about how busy I am with my husband, I knew I was at the end of myself. He really was not in agreement with anything I was doing. I was overwhelmed, under stress, and out of order. I had no clue of why I was doing all these things. I just surrendered and poured my heart out to God and asked him to change me.

    And wow did I go through some changes! God showed me that the first thing I had to do was to submit to His Will for my life and everything would be fine. Basically “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” I have heard this so many times but I didn’t get the fullness of it until then.

    So I started by examining my relationship with my Abba Father and as I began working on getting my relationship with God back in order at the same time I received wisdom that only came from God regarding my son’s behavior at school (He was not homeschooled at the time.) And I learned that his diet was not helping him so we all started eating differently. It made a big difference for him and his teachers. I resigned from my church and we joined together a larger church. This allowed us to start having bible study together and designating family time. I resigned my partnership with business partner and virtually took a $40K loss that I had invested in the company. It didn’t matter because at this point I had peace of mind that I getting rid of that stress! We all – Donevan, Lamar and I all made a vow that we don’t do anything else unless we do it together and that it has to go through our “filter” of questions.

    It was at this point when all the distractions were gone that I clearly heard God when He showed me vision for Beautiful are the Feet Productions. I shared it with my husband and he was supportive day one because it falls in line with our family vision and core values and not only that he knows that it in God’s will.

    Now lastly since he knows that I am not always going to be available because of the school responsibility he respects the time that I set aside and does not bother me and I make sure that Lamar knows as well when it is school time for me. When I am done I spend time with them and then they are happy to help me with videos and go with me to dance conferences 🙂

    Well I know this was long but I hope it helps! Thanks you for sharing your heart!

    1. Chandra, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so moved, so grateful for your transparency. It’s cool, too, to have seen the fruit of your surrender.

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart Amy. I know there are many leaders that struggle with balancing ministry and family. My husband is very supportive of my involvement in dance ministry and funded the start of my company. He loves to see me dance and our children are involved in the ministry as well. We work together to strike a balance in family and ministry. We understand that Our personal relationship with God is first, time with each other second, kids third and everything else after. There have even seasons when the balance is off but we understand that we need to adjust every now and then. It is an incredible blessing to have a husband that supports me and likewise I support him. I pray God will give wisdom and guidance to all that struggle. In the end, God reveals His plan. I trained and danced in the world for years and gave it up because I lost my purpose. I continue to teach because I couldn’t completely leave my passion. Years later I saw dance in the church for the first time and understood that I trained all those years to dance for Him. He revealed my purpose in life. I now understand my life work is to dance and teach for The Lord but He does so much more than I expect. He heals, restores, delivers, encourages, connects etc. I share everything with my husband because we are one. He tells me “nothing fills your cup like dance” but it’s GOD THAT FILLS MY CUP. When I danced in the world was empty. Now that I dance for The Lord my cup runs over.

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