This past weekend was filled with shopping, decorating, holiday parties and concerts and it was both festive and in ways nostalgic. One of the things that touched me the most was attending a concert at First Covenant Church and hearing the amazing voice of Robert Robinson. He sang a variety of songs but the song that I most enjoyed and will remember was when he sang “I Hope You Dance”. The words served as an important reminder about life and what truly matters and in this holiday season it is a song that is a blessing to all.
The holidays are a magical time and in this season of blessings and holiday cheer one would hope that each and every one of us would feel peace, love and joy. Unfortunately, the holiday season can sometimes be one of the most stressful times of the year and instead of bringing peace and joy, people often feel lonely, overwhelmed, sad and in despair. The holidays can be filled with chaos and financial pressures can reach all time highs. Family issues, past hurts and regrets can resurface and instead of it being a season of forgiving people find themselves drowning in bitterness and crisis. While it is impossible for me or anyone else to walk in another’s shoes or ever assume it is easy to forget the pain life can sometimes bring I do believe it is important to try and find the gifts that truly matter in this season of what can bring hope. This can be tough to do amidst the chaos of the holiday season but just like any time of year there is always wisdom, priceless gifts and blessings to be found whether things feel good or bad.
The song “I Hope You Dance” is not what one would necessarily consider a holiday song but when I heard it the other night it seemed quite perfect for this time of year. We all get so busy with life and immersed in just trying to live and take care of everyone else that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. It is also far too easy to lose sight of what truly matters in life. The holidays can make it even harder to find balance and time to just breathe. While it is fun to participate in all of the holiday cheer it can also leave people feeling exhausted and like there is not enough time in a day. We become over-scheduled and sometimes get so caught up in the festivities that we forget the simple things like saying “I love you”, kissing our kids goodnight or sharing a simple act of kindness with a stranger.
It is so easy to feel discouraged, to give up or to lose faith when things get too busy or things feel too hard but if one were to truly take a step back and truly look all around there are blessings everywhere. Beauty surrounds us and with the right attitude and perseverance there are mountains out there just waiting for you to climb or new paths to take. There are people to love, dances to dance and smiles to share. There are hugs needed, gifts to give and lessons to be learned. There are fears to face, storms to pass and tears to wipe away. There is forgiveness to find, peace to fill our hearts and fire to awaken our souls. There are doors to slam shut and new ones to open and there are miracles waiting to happen. There are new beginnings and comfort in knowing the sun will shine. Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder or faith in all the amazing things waiting for you to discover.
This song reminded me of how blessed I truly am and that I want to continue to dance, love and experience all there is on this journey. It reminded me that even when things seem horrible, I know things will get better and that there is a gift hidden in the experience of that moment. It reminded me that someone always has it harder and that one of the most beautiful things about life is when we can be of service and give to others. The church that Robert Robinson sang at last weekend also has a homeless shelter and we decided to sign up and volunteer to help at the shelter. I was thrilled that my girls wanted to do the same. What a gift and what a blessing to be able to bring joy to others and possibly remind them that they too can dance.
The holiday season is magical and it is filled with many exciting and festive things but in the end I hope that each and everyone reading this can remember to dance. Dance for yourself, dance for others and try to encourage others to dance. Find hope, peace, love and joy during this beautiful holiday season and always remember to dance. Your heart will thank you for it.