Last night I experienced a wonderful moment (actually about an hours' worth) with our 10 year old daughter, Bela. She attends a School of the Arts public school, and has the opportunity this year to take dance as part of her weekly class load.
Her dance group is preparing for a Spring Show, and she has been coming home for over a month practicing nightly. Last night at bedtime, she really wanted to show me the tap dance that she is learning. Unfortunately, she is not actually going to be performing in the tap dance this Spring, but has the opportunity to perhaps perform it in the end of the year program.
With great excitement, she shows me the "moves," I clap and realize that when she dances her face glows with pure JOY and CONCENTRATION. I could see her brain working hard to remember each step and the order by which to execute them.
After her little performance for me, I joked with her that I could teach her a few moves (I took dance lessons for 15 years as a child/teen.) She kind of teasingly challenged me to do a tap step. (Picture it, she and I both in our PJ's and stocking feet.. )I showed her the time step. Her face lit up, her eyes widened, and next thing I know she says, "teach me."
So, from about 9:15 - 10:15 pm last night, she and I worked on learning the time step. At ten years old, and having never taken tap lessons at a studio, I could see once again that she was really putting forth great effort to memorize each portion of the step. Even though bed-time had come and gone, how could I stop this important moment from happening?
I couldn't, because I can't underestimate the importance of self determination and drive.
By the end of that hour, she had it. Did she perform it perfectly? No. Do I? No, again. (Hey, it's been years!) But, seeing her try and try again, never giving up until she felt as though she had "mastered" the step was priceless to me.
We said our goodnights, again, and as I left her room, I told her, "I know once I leave here, you are going to want to practice some more. That's ok, I don't blame you. Just don't stay up too late, ok, honey?" She smiled in the darkness, and said "Ok Mom."
I went off to bed to share with my hubby the fun we just had. About ten minutes later, Bela comes into our room apologizing. "I'm sorry guys, I know I should be in bed but I just had to show Daddy." So she showed him the time step. Then she ran around to my side of the bed, and said five words that I never knew meant so much to me until she said them.."Thank you for teaching me."
I wanted to share this with you because I believe truly with my whole heart that the people that teach us over our lifetime are amazingly important in learning the lessons in life. (I don't just mean school teachers, but anyone in our life that we learn from, friends, family, co-workers, etc.) But to me, what is even more important is the action we take once we have been taught. Like my daughter and the time step, if we learn a lesson, but do not put it into practice into our own lives, the value of the lesson's practicality and effectiveness weakens.
For example, if our doctor gives us guidelines to better our physical health, but we do not put it into practice daily, the value of that lesson weakens. If we go to work, and we learn a new skill but do not implement it, the value of that skill weakens. If our spouse or friend honestly gives us feedback about an aspect in our relationship, but we do not honor it by complying, the value of that feedback weakens. If read articles, books, and web-articles about how to lose weight/get healthy, but do not put in the work, the value of that information weakens... in our daily lives.
This morning I am praying that none of us knowingly or unknowingly make choices that diminish the value of the many lessons that we are taught in our daily lives. If you really think about it, these lessons do not present themselves to us by accident or coincidence... no, God has a plan for you and for me. Why should we think that any of these lesson that come our way are not from Him?
Keep your eyes open today, don't miss the lessons that come to you. May you have the gratitude in your heart that says, "thank you for teaching me," and the determination to follow through to increase the value of the lesson in your life!
Your Sole Searching Sister,