Creative Therapy

February 4, 2019

I am very thankful to God today for His creativity. In my corner of the world we rarely have snow but this day we were blessed with enough to cover the neighborhood and not enough to lock us in. I went out for a walk in the cool crisp afternoon and noticed a stunning lack of color that both soothed and intrigued the eyes.

In predominantly green climate I am amazed that in just a matter of hours we have been transformed into a sparkling white wonderland. Chances are high that in another couple of hours the view will, like a movie screen, transition again. If I were the Lord I might be apt to make a scene I liked and just settle there. Why change it? If I like it and it is not hurting anybody why not just leave it alone, I might say. But I am not God, obviously, and I do not possess His all knowing character. More than I, He must know the value of changing beauty to the human spirit. He paints sunsets into the sky outside my dance studio windows when I teach in the evenings. He puts enchanting low fog over the Valley in the mornings with majestic mountains carving out the skyline. Some days those mountains are dipped in white chocolate. Some days they display hues of blue and purple.  Somedays they disappear behind the heavy gray cloud cover. The moisture in the air, rain, seemingly blocks the view but in truth it encourages times of quiet prsyer and introspection allowing for a whole other view. This is an expression of God’s creativity through me rather than outside nature but a valid expression none the less. God of the universe who designed each of us knows exactly what we need to flourish. I am emensley thankful today for the way He sets things up that I would personally be blessed by. May you also have eyes to see the lovely things He is placing all around you. Live life.

woman smiling in grayscale photography

Photo by Pixabay on

I find it unfortunate that there is a natural tendency to give more attention to a bad report than a good one. I have been hurt on numerous occasions by words that people have spoken. As the Bible teaches us, words are powerful. The power of life and death are in the tongue so none of us should be surprised when we are hit by words that feel more like bullets from a high powered gun. It doesn’t matter if we hear them or see them written. With all the forms of social media, texting and public reviews we are reading words more often than we are actually hearing them but that does not change the power of the words themselves. So if there is such power in a bad report, equally so, there MUST be power to a good report.

A favorite verse of mine,  Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” I am often reminding myself of this truth and I would go so far as to say don’t just think on these things. Read them, speak them, shout them loudly for the neighbors and everyone else to hear. In this day of overpublicizing everything I don’t think we can say too much of the pure, lovely and praiseworthy.

When shooting those words out of the high powered gun that is your mouth, make them good words that will build up and not destroy another person. Thank you!





November 15, 2018

Has a there ever been a time in history when whispering was not considered rude? Perhaps there is a tribe or culture out there somewhere where clicking or snapping as a form of communication also uses whisper as an accepted social etiquette but not in my world. A while back I wrote a blog that was inspired by an interaction with a few girl scouts selling cookies. I noticed that the moms assisting them were actually the ones covering their mouths and whispering while giving the side eye in my direction. I wrote the blog because I was bothered by the example they were setting for the impressionable young ladies they were working with.

Today I am thinking on this subject again because I work with so many young ladies myself as a dance instructor and I have questions about good manners. Clearly our culture has changed and what may have been considered polite 25 years ago is different in 2018 but I see no evidence that whispering while in a group of people has become acceptable. It is exclusive and intentionally causes others to feel insecure. There is a new take on this bad habit in the form of texting. Have mercy people! Kids who are not “whispering” will pick up their phones, text someone directly beside them, they both start laughing and the rest of the group is left feeling excluded and awkward.

I have addressed this behavior with students at different times. A few have understood but a few have met me with eye rolls. I’d like to do more than simply address the outward behavior. I’d like to gain an understanding of why the behavior exists. On what planet would a group of girls think it was appropriate to turn inward in a tight little circle and utter sounds or messages that are not detectable by other human beings within the same small room? What would possess them to text a secret, exclusive message to one or two individuals within a larger group? Is it a personal insecurity that tells them they will not be accepted if they speak publicly? Is it an arrogance that tells them only a few people in the room are worthy enough to understand the secret, privileged message being offered? I tend to believe the latter. As an instructor I have attempted the difficult task of asking the students outright about this behavior and been met with silence or  sneaking around. Frustrating as this is for me, it confirms that indeed, these young ladies feel that they are above others, instructors included. Their secret forms of communication make them feel validated, noticed and far above other humans.

I have no conclusive thoughts on this one. I am just thinking….


$$$ vs. God

November 8, 2018

Who is your God? Lately, I have been praying for more of the fear of God….that is for myself and for my culture. When did we come to this place where there is such a lack in the fear of God ?

I think that people have more of a fear of $$ than the Lord.

This morning I was reading in the book of Ecclesiastes and I pondered the last thing said. “Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God…”

Haven’t you just wondered sometimes, about life in general, “What is the conclusion?”

By “fear God” the Bible is not suggesting that we go around terrified and shaking in our shoes that the God of the Universe would suddenly strike us dead. (Although for some that image could be helpful) Rather, respect and reverence for the One who holds everything together would certainly be in order.

As a business person with a business that serves the community, I meet all kinds and I have conversations of all sorts but more often than not somehow the conversation comes around to money. Folks will say, “I can’t afford that. I should not have to pay for that. How do I get a discount?” They fear financial ruin, debt, not being able to buy all the things that the Jones up the street have. They can talk endlessly about how much money they do or do not have with not a mention of the God who owns it all.

The fear of God on my life causes me to be in submission and obedience to Him. It is well with my soul (and everything else) when I am in submission to Him. I am not worried about the finances because I know that God loves me and He is my provider. I do not have any cheap excuses for not following through on what He has asked me to do, like “I can’t afford it” because He owns all the resources needed for the task.

In God we trust. (fear) In God we rest. Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear (trust) God, not money.



October 18, 2018


I don’t enjoy an emotionally charged environment but since the very nature of my work involves great numbers of teenage girls, I have learned to manage within the storm of  tears, minds that change on a dime, small offenses, strong opinions, hormones and minds that change again within a 15 minute period. As the adult, it is important that I hold a position of calm and stable so that the students feel a sense of safety in the midst of their own emotional storm.

In attempt to calm and sooth an upset student or family member, I have heard myself repeating, “It doesn’t matter. Let it go”. I have said it SO often in the last few years that an unhealthy nonchalance settled in and I began to wonder if ANYTHING really  mattered.

Being a results oriented person, I struggle with feeling disappointed and frustrated by work that lacks recognizable outcome and conclusion. I must regularly assess what  sort of results I am expecting.  Some days feel like a storm of activity in which nothing  recognizable is actually accomplished. Does it matter?

It is when I am focused on measurements and comparisons that the discouragement attaches itself to me. When I stay in the moment and focus on simple obedience to the Holy Spirit, life is much more fulfilling and joyful. Obedience matters.


Over the past one or two decades I have seen some trends come and go. Trends regarding sensitivities, allergies, disorders and syndromes. Since we as a culture have become fond of not acknowledging Christ because we are so stinking clever that we don’t need Him or His power, we have come up all sorts of coping mechanisms, therapies, medications and helpful hints. No answers, just helpful hints. Out of all the syndromes my 2 personal favorites have been ES and TGIAGOTOSS.

  1. Entitlement Syndrome.   This student suffers (numerous students) with the assumption that having been born was a pretty remarkable accomplishment and therefore deserves  any and every little thing that pops into her head. She may only be 12 years old, but because of the education of Instagram and Snap Chat, she knows ALOT. In fact, this morning, she saw something on Instagram that was cute and she is going to need to have it yesterday, if not sooner. Be very cautious that you do not say “no” to her, or try to explain why this idea actually doesn’t make any sense because you will simply prove to the world how lame and old-fashioned you are. This disorder will complicate itself and become increasingly painful for the student with the help of her parents who may threaten to remove Princess from the present class or activity if her unrealistic whims are not catered to. Case in point, just yesterday,  a student dropped the Queen phrase of  “I am not comfortable doing that” as a retort to a teachers’ repeated instruction. This phrase is modern PC speak for “I don’t give a rip WHAT you are asking me to do and if you cross me, you WILL receive an email from my mother”.  Do not stand around waiting for a “please” or “thank you” from someone suffering from this condition because the entitled individual will not ask politely for or be grateful for something that was rightfully theirs upon the remarkable feat of being born. Holding that silver spoon in the mouth has been exceptionally excruciating and tends to block their verbal skills.  Aside from a good swat on the behind, professionals have not discovered a cure for ES and since we as a culture have become fond of not spanking, we’re sort of screwed.
  2. The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Syndrome. ES can but does not always manifest along side  TGIAGOTOSS. In our attempt to gratify the ES sufferer, frustration can set in because if the student is also suffering from TGIAGOTOSS, they will have already changed their mind on what they wanted long before the Amazon Prime order actually arrives on the door step 2 hours later or the registration for the new dance school they have decided to fly off to has even been processed. There are various ways that the student may have contracted this very contagious disease but a very noticeable one is through social media. When a young lady spends a significant (or any amount) amount of time staring at the perfect (fake yes, but perfect looking none the less) looking lifestyles of friends and celebrities through social media, feelings of discontent, ingratitude and grumbling are sure to follow. Aside from destroying a teenagers phone with the sharp heel of a stiletto shoe, professionals have not discovered a cure for TGIAGOTOSS and since we as a culture have become fond of never taking away a teenagers phone,  we’re sort of double screwed.

The most effective remedy, I believe comes in great doses of gratitude and humility. Simply speaking the very words “Thank you” brings healing to the soul. Now, try it with a smile on your face. Doesn’t that feel better? Now, try “I am not the center of the universe”. I know, this one is a little harder to swallow but once the truth takes effect, feelings of tremendous freedom quickly follow.  Lastly, the most effective and extreme remedy. Say, “Jesus is Lord of everything and I am not”. You will feel an amazing relief from all the burden and responsibility of having ever though that you and your selfish ways were the Lord. Now, rest and breath. It’s all going to be OK!



Oh Those Reviews

February 7, 2018

I went into my favorite and most important meeting this morning. That gracious, morning meeting with Jesus that reminds me who I am and what I am called to do and it was just so good. I could spend hours on email, research and connecting on social media but at the end of the day I will feel drained and questioning if I actually accomplished anything of value. On the other hand even just a short meeting with my boss, Jesus and I come away assured. When He speaks I don’t have to sort through His hidden agenda or figure out if He is trying to sell me something. He just gives it to me straight and I like it that way. If something needs fixing He will tell me about it and I can solve the problem. He does not get easily offended if I mess it up. He just stays with me until we solve the issue together.

Our modern culture could learn a little something from this. (From Jesus Himself for that matter) We have come to this place where rather that having a face to face conversation with someone we would much rather yelp, text, tweet, post or snap. Now this is convenient. It certainly takes less effort and courage than a real conversation but may also lack in desired results.  As a business owner I have become accustomed to folks having opinions of all sorts. I happen to have a few opinions of my own) But opinions, which may lead to “reviews” do not always reflect truth. Perspective may have a percentage of truth but lack a full accurate picture. This would be one of the reasons I just love Jesus SO MUCH. He doesn’t just have an opinion. He’s got the answer. But enough about him, haha. I want to say something about online reviews. Reading them might make for a bit of entertainment, but basing your personal choices on what those reviews say might not be your wisest moment. I admit, I will read the odd review if I ever find myself trapped in an elevator and become extremely bored.

This is what I have found. Folks who give a business a one star (or less if they could) tend to have a chip on their shoulder. A good review is usually done by a gracious, beautiful person who could review a pebble and find the most amazing things to say about it. A bad review is often done by a person who struggles with grammar and would find something to complain about if you handed them a check for a million dollars.  Often the more vocal folks have fake identities. If  they are identifiable, you might find that they get a kick out of sitting and doing negative reviews instead of working an actual job. The old phrase, “Consider the Source”  would be a good one to practice when looking at reviews.

When I get my “review” from Jesus (my source) however, I always come out on top. He gives me a 5 star rating and tells me to go out there and get em again.  Have I told you recently how much I appreciate Him?

Have a great day.  Go work hard and feel free to laugh out loud if you run across a funny online review. 🙂


Hard Knocks and Little Foxes

November 15, 2017

The school of hard knocks is a great one for actually learning a lesson.

I have not written here in a short season as my time was taken up by more urgent matters at hand. Fortunately, there were no family members in the hospital or natural disasters that distroyed our existence but sometimes it is the seemingly small matters that can knock you right out of the game. They require the most attention and energy. There is a verse in the Bible stating that the “little foxes ruin the vineyard”, emphasis on the word little.  (Song of Solomon 2:15)

For me, the months of September and October were completely exhausted by my husband and I personally filling in holes left by a staff member who left her responsibilies with no notice. It was one of those seasons like wartime, a blizzard or a forest fire when a person being at their assigned post would have been of utmost importance.

In the end, things worked themselves out as they always do but I find myself thinking about what if anything I learned and how we could avoid a similar situation in the future.

Had I allowed a little fox into my organization? Was a hard knock in the head the result?

In short, my interpretation of a little fox would be a distraction. A distraction is anything that settles off the clearly marked path leading you to your God ordained destiny.

When practiced in marriage (which is the Bible context) these principles promote healthy, long lasting communion. But allow me to expand the principle into education and business. A solid education and a long standing business must also be free of “little foxes”.

I must spend tremendous amounts of time in God’s presence, gaining a clear, unmistakable vision of what lies at the end of my path. When I am confident of that picture, little foxes are easily recognizible. They don’t fit into the picture. I may never be able to stop them from entering but the ability to recognize them quickly and efficiently can at least save me a few months of clean up.

*The writing below was taken from another online source which seems to confirm my thoughts on the matter.


Song of Solomon 2:15 is a wise and beautiful verse.  The Beloved desires the “foxes” to be rounded up and destroyed—all potential threats to their relationship must be removed. And she specifies that the foxes are “little”—it’s the little things, the things overlooked, that often spoil things of value. The Beloved wants her lover, Solomon, to address and remove all dangers, obstacles, and threats to their love. As they pay attention to the “little things,” the lovers will continue to pursue marriage and intimacy.
Solomon’s readers considered foxes to be destructive animals that could destroy valuable vineyards. The bride is saying, in essence, “Let’s take preventative measures to protect our love from anything that could harm it.”


It’s been a long year. They say it rains about 9 months out of the year in Seattle but this year felt like 20 months out of the year. The wetness was a record breaker but I didn’t get too excited about such a claim to fame. It’s hard to be excited about so little sun. That being said, my mind starts to wander. Shall I move to a sunny climate? Would I have a job or any friendships if I did so?

In my normal state I can see that I have a beautiful family, home and life in general. But this year, I think I started to crack. I found myself asking God some questions and hoping that He has some pretty good answers.

All the while I do my best to put on a happy face, show up for work each day, keep my house clean and remember everyone’s’ birthday. I don’t know why the birthdays are such a priority but I feel guilty if I don’t at lease get a card in the mail when someone has a birthday. I do honestly enjoy sending the greeting but I also suffer the feelings of inadequacy when I don’t.

In May, things really ramp up for most dance studio owners and I have joked (although it is not that funny) that all studio owners go crazy in May. We should start doing recitals in March to avoid that plight. I have solemnly pledged to be the exception and not go crazy in June because I have Jesus and He will help me to be a victorious overcomer in all circumstances…….. I sincerely mean this at the beginning of May. Each day I faithfully perform my tasks. I am on time. I am courteous. I communicate details to my staff and clients. I keep the energy up in the classes I teach. I feel that I have managed my time well so that we don’t have a big truck load of tasks to be done in the very last few days before recital. Dress rehearsal actually ran seamlessly this year which in itself was a miracle. I mean, who runs a seamless dress rehearsal? The days between rehearsal and recital offered the silly moments when a student might say, “Recital? You never told me there would be a recital!” at which time a director has to smile and just shake her head. These things are cute and flow like water off a ducks back …….at first. But when 2 nights before the show the girls on your own performance team start copping attitude (because they are probably tired but don’t want to admit it), one day before the show you have a 3 hour meeting with one of their moms, on the show day the house manager that you are paying to run the technical side of things has either left his tech notes at home or refuses to read them, causing the show to start 10 minutes late (Our shows NEVER start late!)  and inside your head, you thought things should run smoothly because it IS your 20 year anniversary as a dance school which means you have been at this for a really long time……….. one might feel a bit of strain.

What did I do? I put myself on automatic pilot and soldiered through because emotionally, it was hard to swallow. I thought once the show was over, I would retreat to my peaceful home and loving family to recuperate. Ya think?

Listen to me laughing people. The show was on a Saturday night. I was back in the studio on Monday, after having gone to church, celebrated Father’s Day and driven over an hour north of here to support my friend’s studio recital on the Sunday, because I am a little ridiculous that way. A group of pre-school moms who would obviously have no idea all that goes on behind the scenes, had gathered in the waiting room. I enthusiastically greeted them to congratulate everyone on a recital well done when I was met with less enthusiasm. Slowly but steadily I was approached with questions, concerns and suggestions on how the recital could have been done better. I listened. I answered. Finally, I got real. I said, “Ladies, I am SO sorry. Things happen. Personally, I am exhausted right now. Please forgive me”. No response. They turned and went into the hallway where they could speak to each other privately. My 15-year-old daughter was watching. I waited for the inevitable. We were about to receive our first bad online review. I texted my husband to inform him because although I am not perfect, after all these years, I CAN read the minds of pre-school dance moms.  A short while later, there it was. Online for the whole world to see, my shameful one star rating, coming from the expertise of the mother of a 4-year-old who had been with us only a matter of months.

What did I do? What else is there to do? I went to the kitchen to do a little baking for end of the year thank you gifts for different folks. I unwrap a few Dove chocolates which I intended to melt and drizzle on top of the brownies. Dove puts fun quotes inside the wrappers and this is what I read.

Solve all arguments with a dance off”


The answer to our first ever bad review. The answer to the grouchy, non-compliant grandparents at recital. The answer to the pre-school student who refuses to listen. Is the challenge of a dance battle. Bless the Lord O my soul for Dove chocolate!



May 12, 2017