Thankful for the gift of creativity!

I come from a very creative mother!  She is an amazing artist, seamstress, and crafter.  She makes it look easy!  I remember at some point her telling me that if I volunteered her for one more thing, I would be doing it on my own.  Shortly after that I learned how to sew my own point shoes and could do some basic things on her machine.  She and I are notorious for seeing something and deciding that we could make it on our own and wouldn’t have to spend a small fortune on it!  She, however, actually makes it!  I buy the stuff to do it and I then it sits, in my craft room (or crap room as Matt calls it)!  I have great intentions!  But life always seems to get in the way.  Ha!

I also have been dancing since I was 3.  40 years later, I am still dancing!  I love to be on a stage.  I love to perform.  But now I teach.  I started assistant teaching at the age of 14 in my home studio.  I went off to college thinking that I was done with it, but God had other plans for me. I began teaching while in college, it was a great schedule during that time.  I graduated from college and continued to teach. After Adam passed away, I took a step back and began to reevaluate my life, I felt as if I was finished with that chapter on my life.  Shortly after Matt and I got married, I was offered another teaching position. I have run my own dance program through our old church, worked for friends who own studios, choreographed for multiple musical theater shows, performances, competitions and recitals!  I love it!  I love starting new each season and seeing dances come to life on the stage.  I know that God gives us gifts that we are to use to His glory.  I am so thankful for this passion.  I have tried many times to walk away from teaching, but God has even landed job offers literally in my lap!  He knows where I need to be and who I need to be teaching.

This year I have struggled to teach, physically.  I messed up my back early in the summer and spent months in physical therapy trying to work out the pain and stiffness.  I am still not 100% but am now able to move and bend and walk without pain. As a result of this, I have considered retiring from it.  But after a dress rehearsal like tonights, I know that I am where He wants me.  I love the students I come in contact with.  I have loved watching them follow their dreams, get married, start families, and some of them are performing and have made careers in the dance industry.

This love of dance is now being shared with my girls!  Avery is in a company and striving to be better with every class. Susan is one of my current students and we are having a fun time together. I love that we all share this love.  I am thankful for their gifts as well.  I  try really hard not to push too much or over correct them.  I want them to find their own gifts and passions.  I want them to know that their talents and gifts come from God.  I pray that their passion becomes their mission field.  I pray that my dancing brings light and shows the joy of the Lord!

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” 



By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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