Is It Bad To Love Performing?

Our family loved offering our performance as a gift to others. However, the wise reminders to use my voice for God raised a concern in me that perhaps my intense desire to perform wasn’t good. I wanted to share the song in my heart, but I didn’t want anyone to believe I was doing it for the wrong reasons. If they thought I was looking for applause, they wouldn’t respect me. They wouldn’t listen to me and truly consider what I was saying.

Excerpt from UNFROZEN: Stop Holding Back & Release the Real You

Sweet Performers

It was dark out as we drove home from our first of three trips to The Dance Factory that week. As crazy as it sounds, I don’t mind the 15-minute drive. I enjoy the quiet moments to contemplate life while she’s in class and the few minutes of random conversation with her in the car. The ride home that night started like most others.

“How was dance tonight?” I asked my precious almostimg_7035
-9-year-old who sat staring out the window behind me.

“Good. We got to start learning our dance for recital.” A few blocks and bits of conversation later and Amelia casually inquired, “Why did you put me in dance?”

Her tone indicated a simple curiosity, so I answered simply. “Well, when we first moved here I wanted you to have the opportunity to be in a class. You were almost 4 years old and you love to dance, so we signed you up.” She giggled in affirmation. Our white caravan creaked down the dark road on the outskirts of town as I continued, “You complained about it constantly that first year. I assumed it was because you were required to work at paying attention the whole time. When summer came, I was ready to forget dance. But your dad wanted you to stick with it for a number of reasons and so we did. That next year you started to love it!”

“Because I got to perform!” Amelia revealed. We pulled up to a stoplight and I glanced in the rearview mirror at her softly lit grin.

Ah yes. My eyes went back to the road while my mind went back to the moment we realized we had a performer on our hands. She was 5 the first year she got to perform on stage at the spring recital. Her sequined costume wasn’t the only reason she lit up the stage that night. When Amelia stepped out under the lights, her entire being sparkled with joy. It still does. Every time.

I smiled as the breaks squeaked up to the next stoplight, because I get it. I’m a performer, too. Something in both Amelia and I turns on when we are in the spotlight. I can’t speak for her, but I know what goes on inside of me. I stand taller, dig deeper and release a more expressive version of myself. It’s as if I intuitively know that my self-expression is more than a single person can handle, so I save it for a crowd. The more people in the audience, the less of me one individual must hold. The more people in the audience, the more I can release. And I have a lot to release.

Performers get a bad rap.

Performers are often labeled as attention-seeking and fake. But great performers are some of the most self-sacrificing and genuine people I know. They are more true to themselves on stage than in conversation. Why? Because they were made for it. Something in them turns on when they step into the spotlight and they are free to release themselves with an intensity of expression that no single conversation can hold.

Performance is an opportunity for artists to transform their intense barrage of thoughts and feelings and turn them into a passionate expression. What feels like a self-centered battle on the inside becomes an others-centered song, dance, poem or painting on the outside. True performance, in my view, is not self-expression for the sake of self. It is disciplined self-expression for the sake of others.

So I admit it.

I take my young daughter to dance classes three nights a week because she is a performer. She needs it like she needs air to breathe. And I want my little performer to gain the humble confidence she needs to move with grace so she can express a true and transformed version of herself that blesses everyone around her.

Do any of these descriptions of performing resonate with you? Do you hold back so others won’t judge you as being dramatic or attention-seeking?

Portions of this post were originally published on Her View From Home

A Question for Moms

Amelia 9We have a 9 year old, people. That’s right. No longer a child, not yet a teen.

A ‘tween.


Post-I can carry her up the stairs

Smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-a DESPERATE need for independence and a DESPERATE need for coddling.

Oh wait. That’s nothing new.

Anyway, we’re here and I have mixed emotions about it all. I blubber at the dinner table when I think of how grown up she sounds and the next minute I’m throwing my hands up in the air with a “hallelujah!” that I can use rational arguments and actually get through every once in a while.

It’s all got me thinking about what I want for the next 9 years she’s in our home.

What skills do I want her to have when she goes out on her own? What experiences do I hope to provide? How will she explore her gifts? What kind of a relationship do I want to have with her through these pre-teen and teen years?

These are things I’m thinking about now that I have a ‘tween. They are the same kinds of things I was thinking about 5 years ago when Aaron and I sat down to set goals for what we wanted for our family. We thought about our kids, our marriage, our individual goals and our vision for our family and we set out on a journey toward them. Every few months we revisited our goals to consider how we’d moved toward them and what steps we wanted to take in the next few months. And by golly, we got here!

I don’t have any promise for the future, but I do know that I don’t want to float to Amelia’s graduation day and be carried by the winds of the status quo, wherever they blow. I want to set a sail, catch those winds and creatively move toward the goals that mean something to us. 

Creative Tween AdviceRight now I’m working on a special offering
(yes…I’m still working on the book! But no, it’s not that). There’s an elaborate plan hatching in my mind. It’s something that would help creative kids grow in their self-confidence, social skills, trust of their parents, and so much more. But I need your perspective.

If you’re a mom of a ‘tween daughter, would you be willing to share your perspective with me in a 10 question survey?

Your response could effect many other moms and daughters (including me!). And you might enjoy thinking through the questions as many others have already. The first three of the 10 questions are:

  1. What is your favorite part about parenting your pre-teen in this stage of her life?
  2. Why do you classify your daughter as creative?
  3. What 3 qualities do you see in your daughter that make you proud of her?

I would love to hear from you and all of your friends! Please share this. I will compile the results and email them to the people who fill it out. You never know how your voice might impact others – even through a simple survey!

Click here to participate in the survey!