Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Dancing on the Page

Recently, a friend invited me to a party.

Actually, I may have invited myself.

Small technicality.

And well, I think it was a party.

There was a band. So that it makes it a party, right?

And my college friends are laughing as they read this because they know I don’t go to parties.

actually, even my grown-up friends are laughing because they know I don’t go to parties.

Well, I mean, except for birthday parties. I do go to birthday parties.

Party day came, and I wanted to back out. Whenever I try for  fun that doesn’t include children; that doesn’t revolve around being a mom, I end up crying.

Remember my dress? That I couldn’t zip?

Or unzip?

And I wasn’t even wearing a dress. I was wearing white pants that needed the loving touch of my Mother’s iron, but my babies were out of town and my mom was out of town, ya know, since she lives in Arkansas and a night of staying home feeling sorry for myself seemed like a much better idea.

But my friend. Let’s see. How did she put it?

Oh yes. “I’m picking you up at 7:15.”

And I love my friend who invites and pulls and whose cup just always seems full.

So at 40, this chick-a-dee has started going to parties.

OK. One.  Whatever.

I’ve been to one party.

And I notice a friend playing bongos. And she’s like this really cute, precious girlie that you kinda want to hate because you’re pretty sure that she’s cute and precious without having to work for it and she has this delicate little voice and I could listen to her talk for hours and she runs over to me and she says—

“Ooooooh! I just luuuuuve reading your blaaahhhhg.” And she teases. “Are you going to write about the girl playing bongos?”

And I’m starting to think that people are scared to be my friend. You know, because of all the truth-telling, but I think we’ve covered this. So long as you are nice to me, I won’t call you out in my book.


If you’re not…

Just kidding.


Well, for most of you, I’m kidding.

Anyway, I wasn’t entirely sure how the bongo playing girl would fit into my blog, but the truth is every time I sit down to write, I think about her.

And the bongos.

And I’m trying to think of a better word than jealous. Or covet. And it’s not coming. But it’s sort of like I want to be her when I grow up.  She moves around the room, easy and breezy and free and that’s so not me.  I sit there. 

Landlocked to the table. Even the bathroom seems too scary of a path to walk alone.

And I’m in the 8th grade. And I hated the 8th grade.

And she’s playing the bongos and she makes everything seem like a dance.

She dances brave.

And I saw her again last night. And there was another band. So maybe I’ve been to two parties.

I’m not really sure. It started with dinner.

I’m not sure steak and shrimp kabobs count as a party.

And I met her husband. And she tells her husband about my blog and they go back and forth and back and forth and she says, I will read it to you, but I read at night and he responds, I will read it in the morning and they sounded like a Dr. Seuss book.

I will read it in the morning.

I will read it  in the evening.

I will read it with green eggs and ham. 

I got so tickled and I don’t know them well enough to know if alcohol played any role in the morning/night conversation but  I listened to the sweet little couple play off each other and then her lyrical voice stopped me in my tracks.

She said. To her husband.

“Her words dance on the page.”


For some reason I’m obsessed with that song.  You know, the wha-what song.


My words dance? Stiff, uptight,can’t go to the bathroom alone, landlocked me?

Have words that dance?

And she’s the second person this week to remind me that words have power.

Her words.

Of encouragement.

I am a mother. Without question, it’s what I do best and it’s what I want to do most.

And I’m a homebody. The three of us in our own little corner, in our own little world and for a time, saying “no” was easier.

And better.

And then a friend started talking to me about living in community. It was a phrase I had never heard before.

I didn’t want to be part of a community.

I didn’t want to be part of this community. (Not new information. Please don’t get mad at me. It’s not you. It’s me. Yada. Yada.)

I’m trying.

And I’m learning that sharing  those days when your heart breaks open, sharing fears and sorrows— and tears and tomorrows—is what living in community means. 

And I’m learning that it means saying “yes’ more than saying  “no.” God calls us to be in the world but not of it. I have failed over and over because I would rather just stay home.

If I can’t be of it, then I don’t want to be in it.

Living in community means learning that I can’t just write about life, but I have to leave comfortable places and easy spaces and I must live life as well.

I’m most likely never gonna be  bongo girl who dances with grace, easy smile on her face, and if I find my way to a 3rd party I will probably shadow my friends and need someone to hold my hand on the way to the bathroom, but I rest in the truth that God has placed me.

For now.


To live in community.

In this community.

To encourage and to be encouraged; to share and to sit and to listen.

To be still.

And know that He is God.

And to dance.

On the page.

In the rain.

Because, let’s see. What did I just read on pinterest? Oh yes.

“It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning how to dance in the rain.”

I’m learing.

And I’d like to think that I’m getting close.

Ya know, to dancin’ in the sun.

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4 thoughts on “Dancing on the Page

  1. Susie Fangmeier on said:

    See… By the way you write, I would have never guessed you to be anxious, or shy or awkward, or whatever dumb and not quite “right” label one may put on it. I know you write about being that way, but the WAY you write doesn’t match your self image. Like what you write couldn’t come out of the person you describe. Make sense? You’re a little chick pecking your way out of the egg into the party… I’m guessing you’re more than a “mother hen”. I’d lay (get it?) odds on you being the SWAN. All in Gods perfect timing 🙂

  2. Bongo girl is right. Your words DO dance on the page. Keep writing! I love reading your blog.

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