A New Heart

I woke up yesterday morning and felt a strong need to make something right in my life. I can’t explain the feeling, but I can say that it was overwhelming. So, without giving it a second thought, I put the wheels in motion. At 6:00 p.m. last night, I was baptized at the age of 29.
I wish that I could say a lot of planning or thought went into my decision, but if I am being completely honest, that was not the case at all. One of my goals for the new year was to be closer to God. That was as much planning or thought that I had really given it. I have written before about how I didn’t grow up in a religious home. We were always invited to attend church on Sundays with my paternal grandmother. My sister always went more than I did. She was even baptized there. I remember her marching down the isle during church one Sunday, soaking wet. She might have been seven. Anyway, I never felt right going to Sunday school. I had never read the Bible stories and I always felt lost when the Sunday school teacher would talk about them. It felt like a secret language that I hadn’t been invited to learn. It’s not that my parents didn’t want us to practice religion, it’s just that they did not practice any themselves.
I became friends with a girl in high school, her father was a baptist preacher. I attended church with her on many occasions. I even went to church camp with her the summer between my freshman and sophomore years. Slowly, we stopped hanging out and slowly I stopped going. Then, I began attending a Gospel church while I was dating my high school sweetheart. Music was a very large part of that service and they often spoke in tongues. They had a really great youth group and one of my friends from school would go with me on Wednesday nights after I got my license. I stopped going after I got a job at the end of my senior year. I got a job which required me to work on Sundays. That was basically the story of my life until I got married. I know for a fact that I worked almost every Sunday for the last two years that I lived in Ohio. Sometimes, I would pull two shifts on Sunday. I was a waitress, so it was always one of the busiest days of our week.
After moving to Texas, I slowly began attending church with my husband’s family. I went a few times before we were married. I went more after and even more when I was pregnant with our first son. Something about being there was calming for my soul. It was like I had a hand on my shoulder guiding me through the week. I have been going ever since. Some days, with two little kids, it can be a challenge. But, I am a firm believer that it is the only way to start our week.
When I voiced my belief in Him last night and was dunked into that water, I felt a giant relief come over me. Mind you, that relief was quickly replaced with the vocal needs of two kids under the age of 3, expectations for my presence at a work event, and the ongoing struggle to juggle everything in my life. But, for those few brief moments, I was free. Life stood still so that I could silently acknowledge my love for Jesus.
I thought I would have many things accomplished in my life before I turned 30. I do have many accomplishments. I also have failures and I have committed sins. The best part about moving forward into the next chapter of my life is that I can do it with a new heart.

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My sweeties and I right before.

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God is good.

Dance Party

I should be asleep. Instead, I’m thinking about awesome songs for my dance party for one. Let me explain. I want to workout. I need to workout. I have come to the conclusion that the only way that will happen for me is if I throw a dance party for myself several times a week. I love to dance. I love to try ridiculous moves that I would never dare try in front of people. I firmly believe that if you can have a great time while making yourself sweat like a pig, then you must be doing something right.
Just a moment ago I was laying here in bed and I thought of that old Gwen Stefani song called “Spiderwebs.” It’s a great song. For anyone who doesn’t know, it goes like this:

You think that we connect
That the chemistry’s correct
Your words walk right through my ears
Presuming I like what I hear
And now I’m stuck in the
The web you’re spinning
You’ve got me for you prey

[Pre-chorus:]
(Yeah) Sorry I’m not home right now
I’m walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And I’ll call you back
A likely story, but (Yeah) leave a message
And I’ll call you back

You’re intruding on what’s mine
And you’re taking up my time
Don’t have the courage inside me
To tell you, “Please let me be”
Communication, a telephonic invasion
I’m planning my escape…

[Pre-chorus]

[Chorus:]
And it’s all your fault
I screen my phone calls
No matter who calls
I gotta screen my phone calls

Anyway, I will spare y’all from reading all the lyrics. You get the idea. So, I think it’s a good start to my dance party for one playlist. Maybe I could add “C’mon ‘N Ride it (The Train)” to the list. Okay, if that Quad City D.J.’s song isn’t showing my age, I don’t know what will. It seems like yesterday that these songs played over and over on the radio. I guess I am just feeling nostalgic. There are plenty of old and new songs I could choose from. I find myself feeling very dated because some of the songs, I just don’t know their names. I find myself identifying them by saying, “you know…that song they play on the new AT&T commercial where the guys are walking in slow-mo.” I swore more than once when I was a young adult that I would never identify songs in that manner. Identifying songs in that way automatically makes you old. You are not hip or cool if you don’t know the name of the song, the artist, the recording label and all the dance moves they do. I wish someone would have told me when I was a young adult that sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes it’s more important to remember the dosage of your kids medication or if you mailed the stack of bills on your counter. Sometimes keeping your head above water is more important than remembering who sang what. For those other times, when you wish to forget your problems of the world, when all you want to do is have a one person dance party in your living room and burn off all the internal fights you have been having with yourself all week, for those times, there is music. It can be the music of your heart. It can be the music for which you don’t know the name. It can be the music that you secretly hope your children will never hear or sing. The thing to remember here is that it’s your music. So, sing the words (or what you think the words are) loud and proud. Dance your little heart out. Try not to think about what you look like. Just move your body and feel that sweet release. Yes, this is my one person dance party. Please do not interrupt.

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How I feel when I dance.