Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Razzle Dazzle 'Em

     I just saw an article in a well-known and vastly-read magazine. It suggested that I needed to dazzle my family for the holidays. Being a dancer/performer I've always thought of the Thanksgiving through New Year's season as a part of a performance, just on a smaller stage.

     The moment Halloween is over, my days, for decades has consisted of rehearsals, costumes, Christmas parades, Christmas shows, Christmas scenery, field trips with students to see 'The Nutcracker', going to see my own students in 'The Nutcracker', decorating studios and home, week long parties at the studio, parties at my house, Christmas pageants at my church, all written, directed, and choreographed by me. In between all of that, family trips to Gatlinburg, Christmas shopping, hosting both sides of the family in my home for feast and festivities, all the while attending my own children's school programs and extra curricular activities. Dazzle is what I do.

     Everything I have ever done, or put my hand to was to bring joy and pleasure to anyone and everyone. My concept was to not ask anyone to do anything but to show up. I wanted the experience to be where you walked in to the theater, my home, the church, or the parade and you just sit down and experience the whole holiday magic without any effort or work. I felt as if I was presenting you with a gift.

     A labor of love is what I call it, insanity is what my husband calls it. Do you know how many 50' floats we have made scenery for, larger than life scenery, I might add. In the rain, in the freezing, in the wind, and the children just show up and step onto it and they are the stars and they go home? Or the full productions of lights, music, dance, and song. They perform and thrill and get their rewards of hand claps and flowers and go home with their admiring families. We clean up and go on to the next dazzle.

     My theme song has been: "Give 'em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle 'em. Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it and the reaction will be passionate" - from Chicago. I'm in a place now where I'm ready for someone else to dazzle me. A very dear friend bought tickets for us to see the 'Rockettes Christmas Spectacular' for my birthday and then she took me out to eat. It all felt very strange for I have not always had the occasion to be the recipient of the dazzle. But, I did gobble it all up, dinner and show.

     No one has to tell me I'm performance driven, um duh. God and I are working on that. The area He has me working on during this season of my life is the, 'Let-Someone-Else-Dazzle-'Em-For-A-While' exercise. I have squirmed. He has let me. The dazzle has been dimming. I have mourned. He has let me. My identity is being tampered with. He's guiding me through the transition. I'm afraid of what will be or not be left of me when the exercise is over. He knows it's for the best.

     Do I need to dazzle my family this Christmas season or anyone else for that matter? No, I don't. Do I want to dazzle them? Yes, I do. Will I be allowed to? Yes, of course, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything" I Corinthians 6:12. Hard lessons for a performer to learn.

     So, this season, I have laid performing down. I have agreed to lose myself, so I can become me. I'm turning off the spotlight, packing away the glitz, not attempting to put on the ritz. I'm going to enjoy this season with one thing in mind, Jesus. Not to perform a reenactment of His birth with dancing angels, but to just enjoy Him. If it weren't for His arrival, there would be no pageantry performances all across the world. Off the stage...I'm gonna let God do what He does so well, I'm gonna let Him 'razzle dazzle 'em'. How brilliant is that? Yes, He is.
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